Touched with Fire

Rated 3.0

Two bipolar patients in a psychiatric hospital (Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby) fall in love; their romance burns so hot it destabilizes their lives, making them more uncontrollably manic than either of them was before—and tormenting their nerve-wracked families (Christine Lahti and Bruce Altman as Holmes’ parents, Griffin Dunne as Kirby’s father). Writer-director Paul Dalio’s debut feature is semi-autobiographical (Kirby even calls himself “Luna,” Dalio’s tag as a New York underground rapper), and its confessional authenticity helps lighten an almost unbearable aura of anxious dread. Oddly enough, the parents are more sympathetic than the young lovers, who seem too often headstrong and heedless. Dalio gets fine performances: Holmes fairly glows with haggard fragility, and Kirby is less bland than usual. J.L.